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Zucchini Overload!

IMG_4818As a brand new gardener, I planted just six zucchini plants – with the misguided thinking they would produce just a few zucchini for our family, and perhaps not even enough to enjoy a decent harvest.

Boy was I wrong. My six little zucchini plants turned into what could only be described as a replica of Jack’s proverbial beanstalk. They grew…and they grew…and they grew….faster and faster and faster! I had zucchini coming out of my ears on a daily basis. As the zucchini came in and my refrigerator crisper was overflowing, I had more zucchini then I knew what to do with. I had given bags away to family, friends, and neighbors, but even they were overloaded too. (A nice perk of having so many gardeners in the area, I guess.) I gave them away to my husband’s coworkers – but I still had plenty of zucchini left over.

Here in the south where I live, people don’t always lock their doors. But come mid to late summer they do, because they’re tired of neighbors sneaking zucchini into their homes to get rid of the over-abundance.

I can’t stand the idea of food going bad or being wasted, so I had to get creative and quick. And now that I’m a veteran gardener who knows how to use organic fertilizer, I have even bigger and better zucchini harvests each year. We joke about the abundance, but it’s really a blessing and not a curse. I know that I have the resources to feed my family well, and that is priceless.

Zucchini is not only abundant, it’s also delicious and nutritious

One large zucchini will stretch and make several meals with ease. It’s a good thing that zucchini is so prolific, because it is also very versatile. You can fry it, grill it, saute it, bake it, and stuff it. You can add it to soups, stews, and sauces – even meatloaf, breads, cakes, and cookies! And you can always enjoy it simply – raw and crispy. My favorite is to freeze zucchini to enjoy all winter long.

Here’s a great zucchini recipe for you to try, if you need “something different” for this year’s overflowing harvest of zucchini.

Lindsey’s Zucchini Cake (Or, “Your kids won’t know they are eating veggies” cake)

2 cups finely grated zucchini

1 cup of cooking oil (vegetable, etc)

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups self-rising flour

2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

8 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup chopped pecans (or your favorite nut, walnuts, etc.)

Cream cheese frosting (store bought or homemade)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine oil, sugars, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and eggs.  Add flour slowly. Mix well.  Add in zucchini, pineapple, and nuts.

Pour into a greased 9 X 13 pan and bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes until golden brown. Cool before frosting. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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